Thursday, January 23, 2014

Author SPOTlight - "TONI ANDERSON" - suspense/romance

Hi Margreet, Thanks for having me here today!

I thought I’d talk about my latest novel HER LAST CHANCE--and why it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever written.

HER LAST CHANCE is the eighth story I’ve published but it is actually the second book I wrote. 

HER SANCTUARY was the first and that was originally published by a small digital press who went bust. They’d also contracted HER LAST CHANCE, but it was never actually published. HER LAST CHANCE (originally titled BLADE HUNTER) languished on my hard drive while I figured out what to do with it. HER SANCTUARY was republished by The Wild Rose Press for a time, and I kept getting email messages about two of the secondary characters in that book, Marshall Hayes and Josephine Maxwell. Had I written their story? When would it be available? Would I please get a move on :)

Well life took off and got busy. I was under contract to write other books. So for several years I was so focused on writing new stories that I didn’t have the time to dust off Marsh and Josie’s story, plus, at the back of my mind I was never quite sure it was ‘good enough’ for my readers. But readers wanted the story and I felt compelled to deliver. With each emailed message the guilt built. Finally, last summer I earmarked a month to do a proper edit on the story before asking my critique partner’s opinion. She loved it. So I sent it out for editing and a third opinion, and my editor loved it. When it was finished and ready for uploading I sent it to a reviewer who’d asked about Marsh & Josie, and I also sent her a note to say I still had my doubts about the story. Well, she loved it too and thought it was the best thing I’d ever written.

I have no idea why this story freaks me out so much. Perhaps because HER SANCTUARY is a western romance whereas HER LAST CHANCE is a serial killer story set in New York City and readers might not have anticipated the switch in location? Perhaps because after years of writing I’ve improved and honed my craft? (I can hope, right?) I do know I edited the heck out of this book :).

If I wrote the story today, it would have been different. Yet the characters are true to themselves and the love story works. It’s probably less complex than the things I’ve written lately, but it’s still a romantic thriller/suspense in the best tradition of the genre. I hope readers like it.

Revisiting this work taught me a lot about myself--how I can not let my insecurities beat me. How sometimes I’m not the best judge of my own work. How being a perfectionist can be crippling if you don’t learn to let go. How giving readers what they ask for is also an important part of being a writer.
I’m now contemplating writing some of the other stories from people who first appear in HER SANCTUARY...just as soon as I find time :)

 "Toni Anderson is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of Romantic Suspense. A former marine biologist, Anderson traveled the world with her work. After living in six different countries, she finally settled down in the Canadian prairies with her husband and two children. Combining her love of travel with her love of romantic suspense, Anderson writes stories based in some of the places she has been fortunate enough to visit. Toni donates 15% of her royalties from Edge of Survival to diabetes research--to find out why, read the book! She is the author of several novels including Dangerous Waters, Storm Warning, and The Killing Game. Her latest release is HER LAST CHANCE."

Website ⭐️ Facebook ⭐️ Twitter ⭐️ Pinterest ⭐️ Amazon/Author

Eighteen years ago the Blade Hunter found his first victim on the streets of New York City.

As a child Josephine Maxwell was attacked and left for dead. She learned the hard way that life is a constant struggle for survival. She can’t waste time pining over a man she can’t have. Now the killer has returned, and the only person who can save her is the FBI agent she deceived and betrayed six months ago.

Now he’s back to finish the job.

Special Agent-in-Charge Marshall Hayes has made it his life’s work to fight on the side of law and order, even though it cost him the only woman he ever loved. The return of a serial killer gives him the excuse he needs to force his way back into her life. But in order to catch the killer and safeguard Josie's life, he has to break all the rules and risk losing his heart again.

Marsh glanced up from his cell phone. A tall wiry Supervisory Special Agent from the Behavioural Analysis Unit in Quantico reached over the local detective’s shoulder to shake Marsh’s hand. Lifting his gaze further, Marsh connected with the cobalt eyes of the woman who haunted his dreams. 
 JosephineHis world spun. He gripped the doorjamb tighter, fingernails cracking the smooth black lacquer paintwork. His breath rasped in his throat as the world levelled and relief burst loose inside his chest.
 Alive. She was alive.
Dressed in black jeans and a black sweater with a drab army jacket thrown over her shoulders, her skin appeared almost translucent under the fluorescent light. Fear and vulnerability tightened her expression, but she hid it by narrowing her gaze. Her lips curled in their usual scathing manner.
He didn’t care. She was alive—and apart from looking a little shaken up, she seemed as pissed as the last time he’d seen her. She’d pulled her silver-blonde hair back into a ponytail. Her deceptively delicate features were set in a heart-shaped face that disguised a vicious tongue and a mean temper. For the last six months he hadn’t been able to get her out of his mind.
Why her? It didn’t matter why. He’d thought she was dead and it had reduced his life to meaningless ashes.

by Toni Anderson
ARC Review
Published: December 23, 2013

My rating: 4.5 of 5 ⭐️

For eighteen years Josephine Maxwell has lived with the fear of her attacker coming back to finish the job he started, shielding herself from the world around her, her only connection her art and her one good friend. Never more alone since losing the last connection with her childhood six months ago and walking away from a man she could not get out of her mind, her nightmare was becoming a reality. No longer safe from her attacker, the only person able to help her is the same FBI agent she betrayed and left handcuffed to a bed.

Working on major art crimes, FBI SAC Marshall Hayes has always been a stickler for law and order, following every rule by the book. But when he intercepts an emergency call from an address he knows only too well, he doesn't hesitate to throw out the rule book to get to the side of the complicated woman whom he has kept tabs on for the last half year. Finding out the man who scarred her for life has her back in his sights, rears every protective cell in Marshall's body.

Trust is at a premium between Josie and Marsh, since their initial encounters six months ago left neither of them inclined to make that mistake again. But knowing well enough that alone she stands no chance against a killer intent on making her his next victim, Josie has no choice but to entrust Marsh with her safety, even if it makes resisting him as a man that much more difficult. Marsh doesn't trust anyone with Josie's safekeeping other than someone of his choosing, but finds the line between needing to be close and wanting to be close to Josie blurred.

The closer they are entangled in their dual pursuit to bring down the killer before he brings them down, the more difficult it becomes to deny the truth that has been in their hearts the whole time.....


AGAIN!!! Fan-freakin-tastic example of suspence-romance writing!!!

HER LAST CHANCE has a slight dark and tragic flavour to it that I was not entirely able to get rid of, despite the outcome of the book. But Toni Anderson's writing is so sharp, insightful and well-balanced, I overcame my slight 'hang-over' in no time.

Josephine is such an incredibly strong, sad, lonely and hurt individual, she has turned quite acerbic in her social movements. Like a wounded cat, she snarls and snaps at anything or anyone that comes too close, thinking she is protecting herself, but instead pushing much needed protection away from her. With only a killer's singular focus on her, she is distrustful of anyone's interest and her own feelings.

Frustrated with Josie's unapproachability and her flippancy towards his beloved law and order, Marshall is trying hard to come to terms with his own demons and restrictions before he can place his feelings for Josie properly. Finding his largely self-imposed structure had been necessary to keep some vestige of control of his life, with Josie he feels himself loosening those boundaries.

A high intensity story, with action from the first page on, an intricate suspense tale with twists and turns that are susprising and a conclusion that is as near to closure as is possible to come. The characters are deep and rather brooding, but manage to lose themselves in each other. And the writing is clever, hot and altogether fabulous! 

✨A potent, taunting & hair-raising quest for closure.✨

**ARC provided in return for an honest review.**  Kobo smashwords Barnes&Noble


Her Sanctuary

Running for her life, ex-FBI agent Elizabeth Ward escapes to Montana with a new identity. She craves peace and solitude, but instead finds handsome rancher, Nat Sullivan.

Nat is trying to hold his ailing family together, while struggling to keep the ranch from bankruptcy. The last thing the cowboy needs is a beautiful stranger reminding him there is more to life than work.

But Elizabeth isn't what she seems. And when a murderer and rapist track her down to the remote ranch, they all find out about the power of revenge.

Revenge or Redemption. Which would you choose?

Her Last Chance (Feature Book)

Eighteen years ago the Blade Hunter found his first victim on the streets of New York City.

As a child Josephine Maxwell was attacked and left for dead. She learned the hard way that life is a constant struggle for survival. She can’t waste time pining over a man she can’t have. Now the killer has returned, and the only person who can save her is the FBI agent she deceived and betrayed six months ago.

Now he’s back to finish the job.

Special Agent-in-Charge Marshall Hayes has made it his life’s work to fight on the side of law and order, even though it cost him the only woman he ever loved. The return of a serial killer gives him the excuse he needs to force his way back into her life. But in order to catch the killer and safeguard Josie's life, he has to break all the rules and risk losing his heart again.


Sea of Suspicion

Marine biologist Susie Cooper traded her life in America for a dream job on the rugged Scottish coast. Now all she lacks is the right man to start a family with. After their first meeting, she knows sexy Detective Inspector Nick Archer isn't what she's looking for. He's the type of guy whose idea of commitment is staying the whole night.

Nick has returned to St. Andrews for one reason only—to fulfill his vow to find his wife's killer. Relentless in his twelve-year quest for justice, he has no problem using Susie to get close to his primary suspect: her boss. But the passion between them smolders, and as it ignites, Nick finds himself torn between his past and his present—with Susie.

When one of her boss's students is murdered, Nick's investigation draws Susie into a web of madness and betrayal. They will have to learn to trust each other if they're going to catch a killer...and come out of this alive.

Storm Warning

Sorcha Logan is looking for peace.

Recently returned to her hometown on Scotland's craggy coast, Sorcha wants to tame the spirits that made her flee. When she finds a corpse in the surf, however, she can't suppress the memory of discovering her father's body. Nor can she suppress the ghosts that haunt her—or the town's conviction that she's dangerous, and a witch.

Ben Foley is looking for a killer.

An American DEA agent, Ben is in town to investigate the suspicious death of his partner. He's sure that Sorcha knows more than she's letting on—but the more time he spends with the sexy suspect, the less he can fight their illicit attraction. And the less certain he is she's involved with a drug cartel.
But can Ben protect Sorcha from being set up? Or worse—killed?


Dangerous Waters

Known as the Graveyard of the Pacific, Barkley Sound is notorious for surging swells with the power to pull helpless victims into its merciless abyss…

Sergeant Holly Rudd arrives in the coastal community of Bamfield after local divers discover a body with a knife jutting from its chest in the waters of Barkley Sound. As she investigates the crime, Holly soon realizes the sleepy town is rife with secrets. But what unsettles her most is the residents’ insistence that she bears a striking resemblance to the victim of a murder from three decades earlier. She shrugs off the uncanny likeness as a coincidence. But her simmering attraction to Finn Carver, one of the divers who discovered the corpse, isn’t so easy to ignore.

Finn, a former Special Forces soldier, knows it’s best to keep his distance from Holly. Yet it isn’t long before they both give in to the consuming desire they share. And as the danger escalates, Finn and Holly must rely on each other to thwart the plans of a cold-blooded killer who’s intent on keeping the past buried.

Dark Waters

Danger once again laps at the shores of Barkley Sound, the Graveyard of the Pacific…

Since her rocky childhood and its abrupt, brutal ending, schoolteacher Anna Silver hasn’t given her trust easily. But when her estranged father gets in over his head—again—and winds up dead, his last message to Anna is as clear as it is insistent: she’s in danger and Brent Carver, the man with whom he shared a prison cell for five years, is the only person she should turn to for help. With nowhere else to go and with her father’s killer on her trail, Anna flees to what she hopes is safety.

Tucked into the west coast of Vancouver Island, Brent Carver’s isolated home hasn’t seen many visitors. And his friend’s daughter is the last person he ever expected to grace his doorstep. She’s in trouble, and he can’t deny her protection…just as he can’t deny his attraction to the independent beauty. As their passion sparks into flame, the perfect storm brews off the coast of his island home, bringing with it a sadistic killer hunting Anna and the secrets she’s come close to uncovering.


Edge Of Survival

Dr. Cameran Young knew her assignment wouldn't be easy. As lead biologist on the Environment Impact Assessment team, her findings would determine the future of a large mining project in the northern Canadian bush. She expected rough conditions and hostile miners—but she didn't expect to find a dead body her first day on the job.
Former SAS Sergeant Daniel Fox forged a career as a helicopter pilot, working as far from the rest of the human race as possible. The thrill of flying makes his civilian life bearable, and he lives by his mantra: don't get involved. But when he's charged with transporting the biologist to her research vessel, he can't help but get involved in the murder investigation—and with Cameran, who awakens emotions he's desperate to suppress.
In the harsh and rugged wilderness, Daniel and Cameran must battle their intense and growing attraction while keeping ahead of a killer who will stop at nothing to silence her...


The Killing Game

Wildlife biologist Axelle Dehn isn’t about to let anyone harm her endangered snow leopards—not the poacher intent on killing them, nor the soldier who wants to use them as bait. But Axelle is unknowingly entangled in a conflict that stretches back three decades, a conflict that could spark a war between two of the world’s great nations.

​British SAS soldier, Ty Dempsey, is on a mission to hunt down an infamous Russian terrorist in a remote region of Afghanistan. Dempsey hasn’t failed a mission yet, but when Axelle is kidnapped by the Russian, he is forced to choose between duty and his heart. He risks everything to save the determined, prickly woman he’s fallen for, but in doing so sparks a deadly series of events that threaten to expose the most successful spy in history. A spy who will destroy anyone who gets in his way.

The Killing Game is also part of the Box Set: DANGEROUS ATTRACTION


  1. This is why I like you. New authors and books to try. Yippee! Thanks

    1. Thank you, Nancy!! That's what I was hoping to accomplish.....<3